You’ve known all along that rumors of e-mail’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. It’s still the workhorse of online marketing. Check out our experts’ insights on everything from copywriting to deliverability.

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Updating Your Email Campaign? Tips To Avoid Subscriber Whiplash!

modcloth-weekly-wow You want to keep your emails fresh. Follow the latest trends. Stand out in the inbox. Freshening up your email campaign gives you the opportunity to try out new things -- maybe a new call-to-action will increase conversions, or a new sidebar will bring more clicks to your website. A new look can also relieve subscriber fatigue. Looking at the same old thing all the time might get boring for your subscribers. Whether you're doing a full redesign, tweaking some minor design/layout elements, or even just altering the frequency of your emails, updating your campaign will mean making noticeab [...]

Measuring Brand Perception & Strength With “This Is Not Spam”

shutterstock_85335880 Measuring the strength of one's brand is an important part of marketing, albeit somewhat difficult and sometimes expensive as it traditionally relies on tactics like surveys. However, marketers now have everything they need to measure brand perception using email marketing analytics. Specifically the rate that users indicate "this is spam" (TIS) or "this is not spam" (TINS) in relationship to your emails can provide an accurate perception of your brand -- and even your competitors' brands. For the most part, email subscribers are already customers, and the email marketing channel is used [...]

5 Email A/B Split Test Ideas You Haven’t Tried

tsubo-example-responsive-email-template You’re probably sitting there thinking, "A/B testing my emails is hard!" or "Where do I even start with A/B testing my email campaigns?" The truth is, most online businesses could spend a lot more time testing their email marketing campaigns, and this means you can stand out from the crowd by being one of the companies that does. If you're looking for ideas on what to test, here are five things you can experiment with -- they're likely things you have never tried. Let's break each idea down and throw in a few examples so you can learn to harness the full power of A/B testing for you [...]

How To Convert Email Subscribers To Customers

Email is a great vehicle for reducing the time between key milestones for a subscriber. After all, subscribers are great, but customers are even better. Take advantage of email’s automation capabilities with these triggers at various subscriber milestones to create additional purchases. Subscribers That Have Never Purchased The first of these key milestones is reducing the time between when a subscriber signs up for email and the time of their first purchase. Start with a dive into your subscribers' purchase history. What you’ll most likely find is that the majority of subscribers on [...]

5 Ways To Put Your Email Call To Action To Work

Having an effective call to action in your email marketing -- whether part of newsletters, transactional emails or lifecycle campaigns -- is a must if you want to engage and convert your customers. One of the worst things you can do is "wing it" when it comes to creating a call to action, yet this is all too common for online businesses. Today, we will take a look at some great examples of email campaigns that really nail the call to action. Hopefully, they will provide inspiration for your campaigns across the board. 1. Images Can Cost You Sales With up to 60% of all recipients regu [...]

Are You Ready For Video In Email?

Video_WFs In a previous post, I wrote about many of the scarier myths that are floating around about video in email and gave a few reasons why now might be the right time to put aside those fears and give it a try. In the intervening months, whether at conferences, meetings or just industry meet ups, the topic of embedded video invariably seemed to pop up in any conversation about inbox innovations. So, I’d like to address a few themes that seem to surface consistently and also share some tips that have been shared with me along the way. I’ll even add a few of my own lessons learned. We’ve [...]

Evolving Your Email Marketing From Crawl To Walk To Run To PR

email-marketing-globe-world-featured [caption id="attachment_46861" align="alignright" width="300"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] Now that email marketing has been around for years, every retailer has an email marketing program. But, each program is at a different level of sophistication. The Evolution Of An Email Marketing Program Do you ever wonder where your program ranks compared to others? Need helping mapping out where to go from where you are? I find the crawl, walk, run metaphor resonates with most marketers; and, I’ve added PR after run. As a runner myself, this is reality. Many times after finishing a race, [...]

Auto-Responders: Why Trigger-Based Email Will Increase Your Conversions

Internet marketing research firm MarketingSherpa recently asked online businesses what types of automated emails they send. The results (full chart here) show that outside of welcome, thank you and transactional emails (such as receipts), most business are not fully embracing the power of auto-responders. In fact, based on their data, about 75% of businesses are missing out on the email marketing sweet spot. Why Use Auto-Responders? What's the sweet spot, you might ask? Per the diagram above, newsletters (i.e., one email distributed to many people) have an open rate of around 20%. [...]

Using Data-Centered Storytelling To Enchant & Engage Your Email Audience

Our goal as savvy email marketers is to look beyond the lure of the one-time conversion and strive to build an ongoing relationship between consumers and our brands. Why is this goal so important? Because it’s been proven through many a marketing study that engaged customers become loyal customers and loyal customers are the most valuable segment in any list or database. This type of highly engaged, loyal customer typically has higher overall lifetime value than the casual consumer. They’re also more likely to be an evangelist, introducing new customers to your brand in a very personal [...]

The ABCs Of A/B Testing

Testing should be at the core of your email marketing program. Not only does it help you understand the impact you’re making, but it gives you a much fuller understanding about your customers’ behavior and preferences. It not only tells you where you've been, but where you should (and shouldn't) go with your campaigns. A/B testing is the simplest, most straightforward testing method available. Most of you probably understand what A/B testing entails, but for those who don’t: A/B test is a process through which you provide different versions of an email to statistically significant [...]

3 Ways To Get In Your Customers’ Heads — And Stay In Their Inboxes

Email overload and inbox fatigue are all too real. But, we all have an "inner circle" of emails we look forward to reading -- you know, the ones we check our spam folders for when we haven't seen them recently. How can you get your emails into that coveted inner circle and -- better still -- keep them there to increase engagement and deliverability? Let's explore three simple ways to do that, with an outstanding email example for each one. 1. Build Momentum From The Welcome Email(s) The welcome email (or email series) is one of the most undervalued tools in the email marketer's bat uti [...]

Moving From Static To Dynamic: Building Relationship-First Email Creative

Modules In the past, when email marketers noticed a drop in audience engagement, they would increase the volume of email sends, trying to win the attention deficit game by increasing frequency. But this strategy just doesn't work anymore. With the increased usage of mobile devices, smart phones and multi-channel social streams, your customers (or potential customers) now have a wealth of information available at their fingertips around the clock. In fact, it's estimated that three out of four Americans under the age of 35 now check their smart phone or mobile device before even getting out of bed [...]

Merchandising For Email Marketing — Selecting Products and Promotions

How do you decide what products to feature in your emails or which offers to promote in your emails? If you don’t have a process in place that answers these questions, you should. Merchandising for email should be a collaborative process for optimal results. Setting The Promotional Calendar The promotional calendar should be developed with the E-Commerce Manager, Email Marketing Manager, and Product Merchandisers. Any additional, relevant associates should be included, as well. For example, the Mobile Marketing Manager might be a different individual; or, you may have a Brand or Loyalty Ma [...]

After You Capture A Lead, What Comes Next?

Example7_CustomerTestimonial Congrats on generating some awesome leads for your sales team! Now what? As marketers, our primary responsibility is to generate qualified leads for sales. However, our job doesn’t stop immediately after we get the leads in the door. Answering the “Now what?” question can be tricky. Just because someone downloaded your ebook or subscribed to your blog doesn’t mean they are ready for your sales team -- in fact, Gleanster Research (pdf download) found that 50% of leads are qualified, but not ready to buy just yet. Effective lead nurturing campaigns can help you move your leads through [...]

Hiring The Email Designer

Best practices and smart tactics go a long way, but the most important part of any successful marketing program – email or otherwise – is building the right team. So, what do you look for when hiring an email designer? Here’s a short list of key factors to help ensure you have the right folks on the job. Web Design Experience This first point is an easy but important one. The pool of applicants who will come in the door with the right email experience already in place is small; so, make sure your potential hire has front-end Web design experience, which will allow them to wear multi [...]

When Subscribers Stop Opening Emails

As you continue to send marketing emails over time, your list continues to grow, and your engagement metrics continue to drop. Over time, the number of long-time subscribers on your list increases. These subscribers have a higher chance of becoming uninterested in your email messages, which they express by failing to open or click. This growing population of unengaged subscribers causes the overall metrics of your emails to drop. So What? ISPs are monitoring email engagement metrics and making decisions based on this. If your subscribers are less engaged than a competitor's, then your email [...]

4 Reasons I Love Designing Email

[caption id="attachment_34076" align="alignright" width="300"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] The Valentine’s holiday had me wearing the customary rose-tinted glasses and thoroughly enjoying it, from the candy to the life adventures (our first daughter was born the in wee hours of the 14th). [Editor's note: Congrats, Chris!] It was a reminder, too, that email design is often discussed only in the context of its big brother (Web design) or as an enabler of the great marketing panacea (optimization). We spend a lot of time talking only about challenges in email design, but we can do be [...]

Forget Opens: The Stat You Really Need To Track Is Sales

Too many email marketers are focusing on opens. By "opens," I mean open rates, the ratio of people who receive a marketing email to those who actually open it. [caption id="attachment_32689" align="alignright" width="278"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] Opens are a very popular stat to track, talk about and try to increase. It's great to do those things, but opens aren't the stat that needs the most focus. There is another stat that deserves far more attention, because it shows you if your campaign is doing its job and earning its keep. But Opens Are Important! Yes, they are. If [...]

Four Ways Facebook Can Increase Email Sales

A successful retail email campaign involves much more than just an email. Because it creates customer engagement and results in revenue, a successful email campaign aligns closely with social and e-commerce, resulting in a “trifecta” across all three channels. But, integrating social is more than just asking your subscribers to fan you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter or Pinterest. It requires effectively communicating the value proposition and integrating social as part of the shopping experience. Following are four approaches to successfully interweave email, Facebook and e-commer [...]

Corralling Email Content To Create Value

[caption id="attachment_31999" align="alignright" width="270"] Image via[/caption] There are a lot of supposed monarchies when it comes to email marketing. Depending on the conversation, content rules one day, the user holds the crown on the next, and data picks up responsibilities on weekends. With that many claims to the throne, you’d think messaging would be easier! In reality, they’re multiple facets of the same challenge: aligning content to balance sender and subscriber needs. So, how should we think about constructing messages that a subscriber finds intere [...]

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